The Surprisingly Complex Politics of Being and Speaking Chinese

“It’s disgusting.” I overheard someone at the next table say in Tim Ho Wan, a popular dim sum spot in Hong Kong. “It’s so different now.”

What was he talking about? The food? The service? What was “so different”? I tried drawing a cue from what he looked like: Asian, presumably Chinese descent given I was in Hong Kong. Around 50 years old. He and his…